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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In Dec 2014, I bought a brand new 2015 Outback Premium - blue with tan cloth interior. It had 2 miles on when I bought it. It has 45,000 now.

For the past 2.5+ years, it's been non-stop problems. I've had more problems with this car than any other car I've owned in my 20 years of driving.

Everything on the car rattles, and I mean everything. Plastic, windows, the overhead handles, and even the sunglasses holder rattles.

The car is obnoxiously loud with road noise. It's actually embarrassing when friends and family jump in. It was so-so at new, but wear and tear (and broken in tires) have made it much worse.

Besides the 3-4 recalls, I've taken the car to multiple dealers many times while under warranty. It took 4 different trips and a call to Subaru to find a rattling noise in the dash. It's been in to have the cloth seats replaced, because they break down or stain just by looking at them. It's been in twice for the transmission. Hard shifts and a ridiculous rough idle at a light when the AC is on. All dealers say "everything looks fine."

Now, the driver's seat is coming loose (may be simple haven't looked yet), the AC/heat fan is becoming very noisy, and the backup camera is flickering.

My final breaking point is the driver's seat. After 45,000 miles of my butt sitting in it, the seat is now the quality of a wooden park bench. After 45min of driving, I'm actually sore and cramping sitting in it. There's zero cushioning, and the seat just plain sucks. It's not long enough to provide support under my legs (6'4 tall), and I can't find a height position that is comfortable. My 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee with 160,000 miles had a more comfortable seat.

Just my experience. This will be my first and last Subaru. I hope other owners don't have the same problem, but I just wanted to share my experience. I plan to trade or sell this within a month or two.
 

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2015 3.6R
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1,855 Posts
Sorry to hear that. Sometimes some bad apples slip through production. No car is without problems but it sounds as if you've had your fair share.

If it's that unpleasant you may want to trade it for a different brand sooner rather than later to get the best price out of it.

My '15 is my first Subaru and I've had zero problems with 33k miles now.

Good luck.


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2017 Outback 3.6R Limited
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28 Posts
Yea, it sucks getting such "lemon" car with so many issues... And I do agree about seats - there's definitely not enough padding on the bottom cushion (not to mention the somewhat annoying lumbar support which can't be moved up). I don't have a skinny butt but the cushion does feel excessively hard at times, more than on any other car I've driven before (including my 2013 C63, with firm but still VERY comfortable seats). Adding aftermarket seat cushion can help but if you're 6' or higher - it'll make seating position way too high and it's kind of ridiculous to require people to do that in the first place.
 

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2015 Outback Limited w/ES, Wilderness Green
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565 Posts
Confirmation of two basic realities. First, no manufacturer has 100% quality control for everything that rolls off the production line. One can find problems and upset customers for every make on the market with no exceptions. Some of those cars will be true lemons, regardless of brand and reputation. Second, even when the product performs as intended, there are different strokes for different folks. Most Subaru owners really like their cars, but "most" is not "all."

I can report that my experience with my 2015 Outback (purchased Nov 2014) has been excellent, but like you, I'm just one data point.

I second the motion that you sell or trade your car sooner rather than later. Subaru has one of the highest used car values on the market, so take advantage of that to get into another make ASAP. Hopefully your next car will have fewer problems and be a better match for your driving expectations.

Best of luck!
 

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I realize there have been changes between the 2015 and 2017 model years (such as better soundproofing, to name one), but my '17 OB now has 18k miles and I have no rattles or shakes, or looseness in the seats, the cabin is quieter than any other car I've owned, and the seats are just fine for me (I could use more thigh support, being 6'4", but it's not even close to a deal breaker for me).
 

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2018 3.6R Limited
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552 Posts
So many have dash rattle, there's some design flaw or manufacturing defect going on (or Subaru didn't care enough)... I'm in same boat, been to dealer few times, they spend few hours fixing it, but as soon as temperature goes down, it rattles on uneven roads. Still not the end of world. There are worse things that we could be stuck with.
 

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2015 3.6R Limited w/ES
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3,814 Posts
OP, sorry it didn't meet your expectations, but note that you probably paid the same (or potentially a LOT less) than what that 2004 Cherokee actually cost 10 years ago. BTW, I've never seen a cloth seat age well, from any manufacturer. I'd never buy another vehicle with them.

@byebye6cyl, you don't actually think you can deem something defective based on internet posts? If that were possible, I could spend 5 minutes with Google to make the same claim for pretty much any vehicle, particularly something as popular as the Outback.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think the car read this thread. A new, cute problem popped up.

Now the entire entertainment system is freezing going down the road. Steering wheel controls, knobs, and push buttons all stop responding. The only fix is to turn the car off and restart it.

It's actually hilarious at this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OP, sorry it didn't meet your expectations, but note that you probably paid the same (or potentially a LOT less) than what that 2004 Cherokee actually cost 10 years ago. BTW, I've never seen a cloth seat age well, from any manufacturer. I'd never buy another vehicle with them.
I'm actually the opposite. I don't buy leather. They never hold up, and my dog will make quick work of them by cutting them up with his claws.

I've found that on every vehicle I've owned the cloth still looked fine after 5-7 years. We have a 3yr old altima, and the seats still look brand new.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yea, it sucks getting such "lemon" car with so many issues... And I do agree about seats - there's definitely not enough padding on the bottom cushion (not to mention the somewhat annoying lumbar support which can't be moved up). I don't have a skinny butt but the cushion does feel excessively hard at times, more than on any other car I've driven before (including my 2013 C63, with firm but still VERY comfortable seats). Adding aftermarket seat cushion can help but if you're 6' or higher - it'll make seating position way too high and it's kind of ridiculous to require people to do that in the first place.
The seats are just horrendous. There's no excuse for it really. It's a big vehicle. You can fit comfortable seats in it. Most sports cars I've been in are more comfortable than the Outback seat. That's pretty bad.
 

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Hey Grimm, Sorry to hear about your bad luck. I too have a 2015 Outback. I bought mine used with 20K miles on it. I gotta tell you, I really like this car. My first Subaru. No, squeaks, rattles or noises of any kind. It's quieter than my 15 Camry SE. Handles better too.
 

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The seats are just horrendous. There's no excuse for it really. It's a big vehicle. You can fit comfortable seats in it. Most sports cars I've been in are more comfortable than the Outback seat. That's pretty bad.
Didn't you figure that out on a test drive? I don't get people who complain about the seats until after they buy the car.

Big is relative. I find the OB small compared to my previous vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Didn't you figure that out on a test drive? I don't get people who complain about the seat until after they buy the car.

Big is relative. I find the OB small compared to my previous vehicles.
The new seat of course felt better. All seats break in and lose their cushioning over time. The Outback seat just seems to implode at 4x the rate of any other seat.

Plus, a test drive lasts minutes. Tough to envision how you'll do on a 4 hour drive.
 

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The new seat of course felt better. All seats break in and lose their cushioning over time. The Outback seat just seems to implode at 4x the rate of any other seat.

Plus, a test drive lasts minutes. Tough to envision how you'll do on a 4 hour drive.
I test drove mine for almost half an hour over a variety of roads. Long enough for me to know if the seats were going to be a pain in the arse.
 

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2015 Outback 2.5 Limited
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This is sad to hear. I have 75,000 miles on my 2015 and have nothing to complain about.... knock on wood.


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2015 3.6R Limited w/ES
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I'm actually the opposite. I don't buy leather. They never hold up, and my dog will make quick work of them by cutting them up with his claws...
Heh, well, we all have different experiences of course. I've found modern, pre-treated leather (and the vinyl that typically makes up the majority of the seat cover) to be more durable and much easier to clean. You might consider a dog hammock to better protect the seats (and your furry friend). ;)
 

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2018 3.6R Limited
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OP, sorry it didn't meet your expectations, but note that you probably paid the same (or potentially a LOT less) than what that 2004 Cherokee actually cost 10 years ago. BTW, I've never seen a cloth seat age well, from any manufacturer. I'd never buy another vehicle with them.

@byebye6cyl, you don't actually think you can deem something defective based on internet posts? If that were possible, I could spend 5 minutes with Google to make the same claim for pretty much any vehicle, particularly something as popular as the Outback.
Many people reporting exact same issue. Poll in "dash rattle" thread has more people reporting the issue than not. Sure this is pretty small statistical sample (and skewed too), but that and few other threads can pretty much tell you what issues you are likely to have with the Outback.
 

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..Sure this is pretty small statistical sample (and skewed too), but that and few other threads can pretty much tell you what issues you are likely to have with the Outback.
Well, any professional who works with statistics could not accept the conclusion that something is "likely" to be a problem because a handful of people have come to the internet to complain about it. The only accurate statement is that there appears to be some possibility that one might experience a noise/rattle from the dashboard, although a quick google search turns up plenty of similar complaints for any comparable vehicle on the road today. Not even luxury vehicles (including the Allroad) appear to be immune to random cabin noises.

BTW, the poll you're referring to had a grand total of 38 responses, with slightly more than half reporting a noise in cold weather. Not quite a smoking gun.
 
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